The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

The Tahrir Table

The Tahrir Table: Surprising Swedish Restaurant in Tahrir Square

reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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The Tahrir Table: Surprising Swedish Restaurant in Tahrir Square

first time we heard that a Swedish restaurant had opened up in Tahrir next to
KFC, we were a bit surprised to say the least. After all, why would one open up
a Swedish restaurant in Cairo in Tahrir? Other questions also popped into our minds
such as; will there be IKEA furniture? Are Abba songs continuously on repeat?
Or better, the Cardigans? Is Marcus Schenkenberg the waiter? Does it have
anything to do with Swedish House Mafia? Alas, none of the above was true.

restaurant is set on two floors and it is best to sit on the top floor to enjoy
the view of the square. The interior of the restaurant is pretty old-school
with brown tables, benches and seats.
Apart from some landscape pictures on the wall, there isn’t anything
very Swedish about the décor. The menu is basic and contains some specific
Swedish and some international dishes. In case you are unfamiliar with Swedish
food; think salmon, dill, meatballs and potatoes.

We sampled
the smoked salmon (45LE) as a starter. It came with brown bread, mayonnaise and
Hovmästarsås, which is a mustard dill sauce. The Hovmästarsås was absolutely
delicious, a bit spicy yet sweet and it pairs perfectly with the salmon. We
were also very impressed with the mayonnaise and we suspect it was homemade.
Peppers were also presented, which may sounds a bit weird but combined with the
salmon and mayonnaise, they gave a nice spicy edge to the dish. The smoked
salmon was delicious as well; light pink, a bit creamy and not greasy. We
couldn’t ask for more. The only negative thing is that the portion is
relatively small.

For our
mains, we had to try the Swedish meatballs (69LE) of course. We also tried the beef
fillet, which was quite expensive at 140LE. The meatballs came in a creamy
sauce with mashed potato on the side and Lingonberry jam. There were also some very
Egyptian-looking pickles on the side, which we found a bit odd in the
combination. The meatballs were absolutely delicious. Their meat was creamy and
soft, and combined with the jam and sauce, the dish was a tasty combination of flavours. The
mashed potatoes were creamy yet firm and fresh.

when we thought the mashed potatoes were going to be our all-time favourite
potato dish, we took a bite of the potato gratin presented with the beef fillet. The
gratin was so good we couldn’t stop eating it. It had the right amount of cream
and was firm instead of soggy. The cheese was a bit stringy and had a
snappy taste.

Unfortunately, the beef fillet itself was disappointing: it was
very tough to cut and bite through, and it lacked flavour. The buttered mushrooms
were good although a bit too big and a little raw inside.

For dessert,
we tried Sofia’s lemon meringue (30LE). We don’t know who Sofia is but we love
her meringue. It came with sweet-tasting lemon curd and the meringue was
perfect: crunchy on the outside, soft and a little bit sticky on the inside.

Out of
all the restaurants in the square this one – in our opinion – is definitely the
best. The staff is also very nice and the service is swift. The restaurant is
absolutely worth taking the trip to Tahrir for.

360 Tip

There is no alcohol yet but it will be served soon. Bring on the Punch, we say.

Best Bit

Delicious gratin and meatballs.

Worst Bit

The beef fillet didn’t meet our expectations.

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